How GMOs are Beneficial


Emma Glanz, Staff Reporter

What exactly is a GMO? 

GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. The G in GMO stands for Genes. The cells develop by what DNA is made up of by the genes. The M stands for modification, which is self explanatory on how the genes have been adjusted or modified. Lastly, organisms, refers to not just a crop but any living thing, including fungi and bacteria. 

The Alliance for Science, farming yields have increased for the past 20 years due to the usage of GMOs. It was recorded in 2014 that in the 147 studies conducted, ¨GMO crops have increased the  agricultural yield by 22 percent and farmers’ profits by 68 percent. More importantly, farmers in developing countries enjoy even larger profit margins. In 2017, a study showed  that ”GMO crops increased global production by 357.7 million tons of corn, 180.3 million tons of soybean, 25.2 million tons of cotton fiber, 10.6 million tons of canola and about a ton of sugar beet” between 1996 and 2015.

Why do farmers spray herbicides and insecticides?

 They do this to kill off insects/ and or pests or weeds. With GMOs, farmers no longer have to spray harsh chemicals on their crops. 

GMO Answers states that spraying of pesticides has reduced by 8.1% in the past 20 years due to increasing  GMO usage. ¨Additionally, with farmers planting herbicide-tolerant crops, the volume of herbicides used in GMO corn crops declined by nearly 226.3 million kg from 1996 to 2015.  That’s more than an eight percent reduction.¨

What is a carbon footprint?

 A carbon footprint is, ¨the total amount of greenhouse gasses (including carbon dioxide and methane).¨

 It was found in 2018 that there was a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 15.27 from cars from roads due to GM crops of the decrease in tillage and fuel usage. The Alliance for Science stated, “the adoption of crop biotechnology contributes to a reduction in the level of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, this represents a positive development for the world.”

You could say that GMOs are bad because of possible safety issues and current lack of research. However, with that being said, the overall impact of GMOs are good in the short term and long term run. They allow crops to be produced more efficiently with higher yields. They reduce the amount of harmful pesticides being used on the crop, which can be harmful towards humans. Finally, they help us in the long term run with a decrease of carbon footprint, which can, and will make the world a better place.